Volumes of ocean containers are about to fall off a cliff
The U.K . based consultant Maritime Strategies International (MSI)'s latest business forecast reads like a Stephen King novel targeted at container-line executives. For cargo shippers, it is not exactly good reading either.
In the east-west mainline trades (trans-Pacific, Asia-Europe), MSI saw "extraordinary downward pressure due to the impending collapse of consumer demand in Europe and increasingly North America." It noted "near-unprecedented headwinds" for European imports, with the trans-Pacific facing the same shock as the Asia-Europe channel, but with a lag.
MSI projects with a combined volume of 12% year-on-year on the Asia-Middle East-India route in March-May, 10% on the Asia-Latin America and the trans-Atlantic westbound lanes, 8% intra-Europe and 5% intra-Asia.
What MSI does not predict is a price war on the same scale as in 2016, between carriers. Trade partnership partnerships between major carriers have improved over the last four years and the EU antitrust exemption has been extended.
"Carrier alliances encourage more targeted successful capacity withdrawals, "said MSI, adding that the reported extension of the [EU] Consortia Block Exemption that give carriers more license to do stuff that will annoy shippers, all of which should prevent a crash in the 2016 style. And the prices will decrease.
Maritime Business World